Implementation of The Laois Heritage Plan 2014 – 2019 in ongoing. This page will contain updates and summary reports on the projects undertaken. Preparation of the 2016 work programme is ongoing. Copies of the Heritage Plan 2014-2019 can be downloaded below or hard copies ordered.
Download the Laois Heritage Plan 2014 – 2019
Project underway in 2016, with the support of the Heritage Council, include:
- Audit of Geology sites in Laois (in partnership with Offaly County Council)
- Heritage Awareness projects for Biodiversity Week, Heritage Week and Science Week
- The continuation of “Connecting Communities” programme, this years focusing on
- Commemoration of people and groups of note in Laois. This year plaques will be erected to commemorate Thomas Prior of Rathdowney (one of the founders of the RDS) and the site of Biddy Aghaboe’s Well in Portlaoise.
- Mapping – a new book on historic maps of Laois is being researched and will be published in 2017.
- Tidy Towns and Biodiversity – we are working with the Laois Federation of Tidy Towns to implement Local Biodiversity Action Plan actions, with a special focus on pollinators.
Projects undertaken in 2015, with the assistance of the Heritage Council include:
- Continuation with work on our book on the Rock of Dunamase
- Heritage Awarenesss programme, including events for Biodiversity Week, Heritage Week, the National Ploughing Championships and Science Week
- “Connecting Communities”, a new programme on engaging communities with their local heritage, with several strands:
- Commemoration of key people and groups from Laois, including prominent Scientists, Quakers, Folktales and Artists
- Tidy Towns Biodiversity, including Biodiversity training for Tidy Towns and production of Local Biodiversity Action Plans (in association with Environment Section)
- Folklore – A new book on the Folktales of Laois by Nuala Hayes, was published in August 2015. The book is now available in local bookshops or directly online from the History Press Ireland. A series of folklore and storytelling workshops were held in association with this (in Partnership with Laois Arts Office).
- 2015 Architecture of Ireland Seminars – A series of Talks on the Architecture of Laois was held during the summer 2015, in association with the Buildings of Ireland Trust and Portlaoise Branch Library.
Other 2015 projects included:
- Co-ordination of Ireland 2016 Planning for Laois
- Production of two further audioguides to Heritage Sites in Laois (in partnership with Laois Tourism and Laois Partnership)
- James Fintan Lalor Autumn School
- Portlaoise Town Park Regeneration project
- Provision of Information and advice on all aspects of heritage to the elected members and executive of Laois County Council and to the public, including but not limited to provisions of assistance in management of heritage structures, sourcing funding for heritage projects and community use of heritage for economic and rural development
Community Projects in 2015
- Conservation work at Timahoe Round Tower (with community funding from the Heritage Council).
- Conservation work at Lea Castle (with community funding from the Heritage Council).
- Technical Advisory group of Abbeyleix Bog Project
Laois County Council-owned buildings
- Conservation work at Borris in Ossory Courthouse
- Management of Donaghmore Workhouse & planning for the future
Projects undertaken in 2014 with the assistance of the Heritage Council included:
- Work on a Publication on the Rock of Dunamase
- Heritage Awarenesss programme, including events for Heritage Week and Science Week and the preparation of Communications Strategy
- Assistance with the publication of the Pevsner guide to the Buildings of Laois & Offaly.
Other 2014 projects included:
- Production of audioguides to Heritage Sites (in partnership with Laois Tourism and with the assistance of Laois Partnership)
- Conservation work at Donaghmore Workhouse (with funding fron Laois Partnership)
- Conservation reports (with local communities) at Timahoe Round Tower and Lea Castle (with community funding from the Heritage Council).